In the predominantly patriarchal history of the world masculinity and what it means to be a man have differed from culture to culture. When it comes to African American history and culture particularly what it has meant to be a man has no clear set of universal rules or guidelines. There are a few different sources such as hip hop and and television many young black men across America draw their sense of masculinity from. On the other hand there are role models in black communities that many young black men also draw their sense of masculinity from. With so many different sources to draw a sense of what it means to be a black man in today’s society from what is the true definition of black masculinity.
Prompt 2 Okonkwo is driven by his hatred of his father and the fear he will become like him. Okonkwo saw his father, Unoka, as a coward and is ashamed to be his son. Everything that Okonkwo does is meant to set him apart from the legacy of his father. First, this is evident in his beating of his wives and even his aggression with his children. He is trying to show his strength and ensure he is not portrayed to be like his father: powerless and incapable.
In the beginning of the story, Okonkwo was a very vigorous man who everyone loves. One day a killing happened leaving Okonkwo with a wife and a son, Ikemefuna. He grew to like the young boy, where he is different from his other children, On a fateful day, Okonkwo murders Ikemefuna. Okonkwo had a load of guilt for killing his adoptive son, Ikemefuna.
Okonkwo’s aggressive ways caused Nwoye to rely on Ikemefuna, A boy given to Okonkwo by a neighboring village, as an older brother who teaches him a more gentle form of masculinity. The bond between Nwoye and Ikemefuna was stronger than the bond between Nwoye and Okonkwo ever was because of Okonkwo’s refusal to demonstrate affection towards his son as it could make him appear weak. However, because of the death of Ikemefuna, Nwoye fears having to return to the harsh values of his father. Okonkwo’s stubborn ideas of masculinity ruined his relationship with his son beyond repair. Okonkwo’s refusal to show emotion towards his family pushed them apart which shows that Okonkwo is not willing to give up his stern values and reputation to be emotionally committed to his family.
Nwoye was my favorite character in this book because he expressed his feelings even when he was told by his father not to. This character made his own decisions and I can respect that, which is why I chose him for this essay. When Christian missionaries brought a new religion to the Ibo culture Nwoye changed his opinion about his cultures beliefs and religion. The book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a fiction work that represents the Ibo culture.
He rules his household with a heavy hand and resents Nwoye’s, his sons, laziness. His moodiness and bipolar problems are shown through the interactions between Okonkwo and his son, Nwoye. Okonkwo is an outspoken person who does not think before he speaks. Okonkwo Represents a byronic hero by letting his anger and hypersensitivity control
Since 1880s up to the 1890s was period of ‘scramble for Africa’. It was fundamental period to the age of imperialism where the European became greedy for natural resources of Africa. They came to Africa with wicked intention to take over the land. And it didn’t take long time for white missionaries to dominate African’s social, politic, and economics. When they came there, they claimed that they wanted to do humanitarian act that was making primitive African becoming civilized society.
“Black men struggle with masculinity so much. The idea that we must always be strong really presses us all down - it keeps us from growing” (“Donald Glover Quotes), says Donald Glover, a famous African-American actor. This is shown during the book, “Things Fall Apart”, by Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo, the main character, hates his father who acts very feminine according to their tribe’s definition and is not successful at all, but still lives life to the fullest. Okonkwo’s actions are based on his fear of becoming like his father so he rejects all characteristics that his father had (feminine qualities).
Therefore, Okonkwo asks Nwoye to quit listening to his mother's womanly stories and hear the tales of war. It is only when Ikemefuna arrives that Nwoye begins to behave masculine. After much training, Okonkwo is pleased with Nwoye’s changed behaviour and for this, he credits Ikemefuna. Okonkwo’s good friend, Obierika is a contradicting character – with a title equivalent to Okonkwo’s – with a completely different belief system. Obierika does not shy away from his feminine characteristics, just like Unoka, he is compassionate and gentle.
Throughout the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, there are many references to the protagonist’s necessity to be recognized for his masculinity. Okonkwo, the protagonist, despises his father for his unsuccessfulness, and Okonkwo is motivated to become a prosperous man. His fear of being weak determines his actions in difficult situations, which causes an internal conflict. Eventually, this fear overwhelms Okonkwo, and he commits suicide. Okonkwo’s desire to be masculine in opposition to his father creates an internal conflict established in his fear of being thought weak, which ultimately leads to his death.
As a child, Nwoye is the frequent object of his father's criticism and remains emotionally unfulfilled. Okonkwo, “wanted Nwoye to grow into a tough man capable of ruling his father’s household when he was dead and gone to join the ancestors”(38). When Nwoye finds out that it is Okonkwo who killed a “brother” who he is extremely fond of, and grows very close with, he loses all appreciation for Okonkwo and decides to go against his father and his cultures.
He shows that he was extremely pleased with his daughter, Ezinma, several times throughout the novel. He thinks a lot of the young lady… much more than he does his sons, which he labels as disappointments. Sometimes a rare, affectionate side of him even shines through when he is addressing Ezinma. Okonkwo is proud of his daughter and who she is becoming, for he even says, “If Ezinma had been a boy I would have been happier. She has the right spirit”(50).
Ezinma was a blessing to them both. She had some aspect of her father but the kind heart and strength of her mother. As the book goes on, we see that Ezinma usually has a strong sense of confidence that many other girls don 't have. We also see in the book that Okonkwo wishes that Ezinma was a man.
Okonkwo was a big supporter of physical and verbal abuse in his home, especially towards his wives and Nwoye. To Okonkwo, physical abuse was another language. This is how he spoke, and punished, on the occasion of the abuse, and how he had handled the situation. Women was treated poorly in Umuofia because men believe that they were weak and in inadequate. “ Even as a little boy Okonkwo had represented his father 's failure and weakness, and even now he still remembered how he had suffered when a playmate had told him that his father was Agbala.
Masculinity (also called boyhood, manliness or manhood) is a set of attributes, behaviors and roles generally associated with boys and men. But the culture doesn’t end at the definition, it starts from there. The first thing to come to mind when the word masculinity is heard is usually a man flexing his gigantic muscles, as the word might sound to suggest, and that right there is the current culture of masculinity because sadly, in the world we live in, not everyone has a “muscular body”. So far we know the concept of masculinity, but the culture is what is truly hampering.